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Old 09-22-2017, 03:07 PM
 
29,784 posts, read 34,885,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
We are going through some upheaval in my family now regarding my 81 year old grandmother who is becoming increasingly frail with mobility issues. She lives in a smaller, tri-level home they had built in 1967. The laundry is in the basement, living room and kitchen are on the main level, and the only bathrooms are upstairs with the bedrooms. The master bathroom is extremely small and only has a shower stall (if someone was sitting on the toilet, there would not be enough room for someone to stand at the sink that is between the toilet and shower). It can't accommodate a walker or any sort of mobility equipment. She is using a shower chair because she's afraid she'll fall and had a handyman she knows rig up some rails in the shower. Other bathroom has a tub that is larger, but this tub has not been used in years, so no idea if it needs work, etc.

She has had knee issues for the past several years with increasing severity and went for an MRI last week. The follow up was not good - she has a stress fracture, the knee is "bone rubbing on bone," and there is severe arthritis and inflammation. The doctors gave her a cortisone shot, but do not think surgery would help with all the arthritis. It is wear and tear for someone of that age, but she is throwing a pity-party and acts like she's going to have her leg amputated. She has no significant health issues otherwise.

Needless to say, the layout of this home is not doable for someone who has a hard time getting around. The walker/cane has to go up the stairs. The hallways and rooms are small, so difficult to manipulate a walker. There is a rail, but the stairs could easily lead to a fall for someone not sure on their feet. My aunt and sometimes myself are doing the laundry for her, carrying it up both sets of stairs. She pays a lady to clean once a week and is not able to do much of her own housekeeping. She's becoming less willing/able to drive, so I'll pick up groceries and bring them over a couple times a week, as she only goes out on Friday to the beauty salon and Sunday to church, and has difficulty getting through the grocery store. Dad and I have been taking care of maintenance around the house - I did most of the yard work last summer.

The mobility issues are getting worse, she is requiring more care over the last few weeks, and her insistence on staying in the home is frustrating. She still sees herself as active and able, but she is clearly not able to do the things she once did. We've tried talking her into downsizing since my grandfather passed away in 2009 (she is notably more frail with less movement), but she is absolutely unwilling to even entertain the idea. She complains the house won't sell (needs cosmetic updates but is mostly fine), that she won't get enough money from the sale of the home to buy something else (not true, but the home would probably bring $100k-$120k, which could get a one level condo or maybe a ranch), any number of reasons. The basement is still packed with his stuff and she does not want it cleaned out. We've all resigned ourselves to the fact that it'll have to wait until she passes.

Aunt has a one level townhome that is much more open and easier to get around in, and is trying to get grandmother to move in. Grandmother will stay over there on weekends sometimes but not permanently. It's becoming increasingly burdensome on my aunt and me to constantly get the groceries, do the laundry, me to do the yard work, etc. - it's probably a five hour a week commitment for me and more for my aunt, and we aren't into mowing season yet! Grandmother is not making this easy or convenient.

Did you have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that you need to downsize? How did it go for you and your family?
I had a similar conversation with one of my sons and DIL over the weekend. It was sorta in jest but I was serious. They are trying to sell their house to buy a bigger one. They suggested we buy theirs and we could be even closer to the grands. I told them their house was to small. Two adults, two kids, one dog and two cats v us with just the two of us. I told them it was to small and that our much lager house was a downsize from the house he grew up in. I told them our place at the beach while it my be decent size for others was not us and we had no reason to have to downsize.
How many of the issues you shared about your grandmother have anything to do with the actual size of the house. The mobility issues are not about house size but about access the others are about her ability to function independently.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:26 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,207 posts, read 1,351,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
I had a similar conversation with one of my sons and DIL over the weekend. It was sorta in jest but I was serious. They are trying to sell their house to buy a bigger one. They suggested we buy theirs and we could be even closer to the grands. I told them their house was to small. Two adults, two kids, one dog and two cats v us with just the two of us. I told them it was to small and that our much lager house was a downsize from the house he grew up in. I told them our place at the beach while it my be decent size for others was not us and we had no reason to have to downsize.
How many of the issues you shared about your grandmother have anything to do with the actual size of the house. The mobility issues are not about house size but about access the others are about her ability to function independently.
It's not necessarily the SIZE of the house. It is the STEPS when a person has mobility problems.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:30 PM
 
29,784 posts, read 34,885,423 times
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Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
It's not necessarily the SIZE of the house. It is the STEPS when a person has mobility problems.
Agreed, that's why I said it in the post you responded to.

Quote:
How many of the issues you shared about your grandmother have anything to do with the actual size of the house. The mobility issues are not about house size but about access the others are about her ability to function independently
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,047 posts, read 5,901,554 times
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The FIL will be 100 in January. His wife passed recently. They have been in an ALF for three years. The move was possible only because his health hit a crisis point and we were able to transition him from their home to rehab, then on to the nursing home.
It was only because of the health crisis that the family could make any progress in moving them into a care facility at all. They both adamantly wanted to be at home, on their own, with all their stuff.
Now that she is gone he is settling in but doesn't really understand the situation. That's just the way it is with most of them.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,979 posts, read 3,466,540 times
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I moved into a handicapped apartment, 1st floor, & can't believe the amazing difference it has made for me.

Besides the bars in the bathroom, the closet shelves are lower, doorways are wider & it's so much easier to reach things. They also removed or didn't put in, an area of cabinets, just the counter is there, which makes it easy to use my sit-down walker for food preparation.

I never realized how much of a difference these changes would make. So much easier to live here.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:56 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
3,302 posts, read 2,328,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
I spent my earning years living in larger homes. One was 2500 square feet and the one I had in my last years before retirement was 3100 square feet. My husband and I were both professors and we had 10,000 books which required space to house them.

Now we live in a house that is 1373 square feet. I have to admit I miss the larger spaces and I miss the psychological freedom that gives you. But there are advantages too to a smaller home: less to heat, less to clean and it seems a waste to have so many rooms which are are just "there."

Agree. Mine is a little smaller. Keep it simple, the savings go along with that. Five years ago I downsized. The best thing I ever done. You can find yourself not getting something, thinking of where to put it. Turns out, you didnt really need it after all. At this stage, you just dont need all the things you think you need anymore.
Donate your books to a library. Let them store them. You can go and reed them anytime you like.
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